Edmiston Jones


Concept sketches

Accurately defining the brief at this stage is critical and lays the foundation for all subsequent design decisions. Through close consultation we will work together to ensure the detailed functional requirements are understood and documented.

The opportunities and constraints presented by the property are thoroughly investigated and documented as a ‘Site Analysis’ drawing.

A review of codes and regulations as well as preliminary liaison with relevant authorities is required to determine the statutory design parameters. This may involve research into particular conditions. Concept sketches are then prepared to explore options for the design of the building and its relationship to the local environment. The budget is taken into account from the outset of the design.

The initial ‘Concept Sketches’ focus on the floor layout and site planning. The sketches culminate in an overall plan for the site, floor layouts, as well as schematic sections to illustrate the general form of the building.

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates..

Philip Johnson |

Detailed design

After a decision is made about the preferred concept, the design is developed looking at all aspects including the external appearance, detailed planning of the floor areas as well as consideration of suitable construction methods.

The likely construction cost is monitored to ensure it complies with the project budget.

This stage of the service culminates in drawings showing furnished floor plans and the building in the context of the site. Side views (elevations), cross sections and three-dimensional images are used to clearly convey the form and massing of the building to ensure that the functionality and appearance of the building is understood.
Detailed design drawings are submitted to the local Council as a Development Application.

The absolute essence of architectural service is communication.

Mark Jones |

Construction documents

The design is translated into clearly noted and dimensioned drawings together with schedules and a purpose written specification to describe the building in a way that facilitates construction. Again, the budget is considered in all decisions that effect the project cost.

Every component of the building is carefully thought through in collaboration with appropriate engineers, suppliers and contractors. Construction drawings, together with a standard specification, will be suitable for submission as a Construction Certificate Application to the local Council.

Information provided may include electrical layouts, construction details, wet area details (bathrooms, kitchens, etc), window and door schedules. The specification stipulates required materials and defines standards of workmanship. Adequate detail at this stage minimises ambiguity with the builder and decisions that need to be made under pressure during the construction.

Thank you for all your professional advice and drawings over the several jobs that we have undertaken recently. It is a pleasure working with such an organisation as EJ and it's staff.

Darren Jackson | IRT Project Manager

Construction admin


Reliable builders are selected in consultation with the owner. The tender process is then carefully managed to obtain competitive quotations. Builders are issued with the construction documentation accompanied by appropriate tender forms.


Administration of the contract with the builder during construction includes inspection of the works, clarifying details, checking progress claims and issuing certificates approving payment. Cost control is crucial in this phase of the project and can involve negotiating variations, assessing claims for extension of time and other matters relating to the building contract. When all work is completed in accordance with the contract the building is handed over for occupation.

Defects Period

After occupation, the building is monitored for a period of at least six months. Any defects identified in this time are rectified by the builder before final payment is released.

The absolute essence of architectural service is communication.

Mark Jones |


Project Brief

What is the project brief?

The “brief”, in the context of a building project, is….

“A statement of all the relevant information necessary for the commencement and execution of an architectural design and the program for its implementation.” Terms in Practice – A Dictionary for Australian Architects – David Stanton

The architect works with the client in close consultation to ensure the detailed requirements are understood and documented by all parties involved in the project.

Why is a clear brief essential?

  • Accurately defining the brief at the outset of the project is critical to lay the foundation for all subsequent design decisions.
  • The possibility of the project ‘drifting’, and time wasted, is avoided,
  • The success of the outcome of the project can be measured,
  • The possibility of a dispute due to misunderstandings is reduced and
  • The architect can do the best job if the objectives are clear.

What does a clear brief look like?

A brief is a written document that might be anything from a single page to a multiple volume set of documents. There are no absolute rules and the information may be comprised of written statements or lists; clippings from magazines; images of existing spaces; samples of materials etc…

What not to do!

The temptation is to do the architect’s job by preparing a draft of the plan to capture your ideas. Offering a part solution dilutes the raw data driving the project and limits the opportunity for an imaginative and innovative solution.

Some guidelines...

Any project brief should, ideally, address the following:

Aspirational Statement
A succinct overview of the prime objective of the project or the key issue to be resolved.

The key players and their roles and responsibilities should be defined.

The Process
The sequential steps to be taken to achieve the outcome must be documented possibly in a chart with milestones or hold points identified.

Functional Requirements
The spaces or activities to be accommodated in the building should be listed noting their relationship to each other and the site. Priorities should be established for the orientation and aspect of each space as well as its size. The size of the space is best specified by defining purpose,for example, the number of people to be seated or the furniture required for the activity.

Environmental Performance
The expected level of environmental performance should be established. Minimum standards are stipulated by Government regulations however higher standards are ideal.

The level of quality, and what this means to everyone involved needs to be discussed and agreed.

Budget and Time Program
And, most importantly, the financial and timing constraints for the project need to be stated and reaffirmed through the design process.

Although this does not need to be finalised at the outset of the project, the client should consider the process of procuring the building. Think about the extent of your involvement and your availability.



Expect the design process to challenge your presumptions. It should test each element of the project from the standpoint of the objectives articulated in your brief.

Long Services Levy

What is the purpose of the levy?

The NSW Government has put a levy on all building and construction work in NSW. The levy is paid into a fund, administered by the Long Service Payments Corporation and from this fund, the Corporation makes long service payments to building and construction workers.

How is the levy calculated?

The levy is payable to work valued at $25,000 or more (inclusive of GST). It is calculated as a percentage of the cost of the work as determined by a consenting/certifying authority.

What is the levy rate?

The levy rate is 0.35% of the total cost of the work.

Who is required to pay the levy?

The building applicant, or the person for whom the work is being done, is liable to pay the long service levy.

When is the levy to be paid?

In the case of a Council or an Accredited Certifier approving a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate, which would allow work to commence, the levy must be paid before the Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate can be forwarded or delivered to the person seeking such approval.

Are you entitled to an exception from the levy?

If you are an owner builder, a church or a non profit organisation, you may be eligible for an exemption of up to 50% of the levy payable. The exemption is calculated on the content of voluntary labour performed.

For further detail refer to www.lspc.nsw.gov.au.For work not requiring approval by Council or Accredited Certifier, the levy must be paid before work commences.

How is the levy to be paid?

For work requiring approval by a Council or Accredited Certifier: Payments can be made online at www.lspc.nsw.gov.au. Conditions apply. All Council’s are agents for collecting the long service levy and levies can be paid direct to these Councils. Some Councils however, are unable to collect the levy for work not approved by the Council. In such situations, you will need to make the levy payment direct to the Corporation.

For work not requiring approval by Council or Accredited Certifier: Complete a Levy Payment Form (available from the Corporation, Councils or www.lspc.nsw.gov.au). Send the completed form to the Long Service Payments Corporation, at the address shown on the Levy Payment Form, together with your payment (personal cheque, bank cheque or money order).

What building and construction work is subject to the levy ?

As well as construction of structures, maintenance involving renovation and replacement of parts of structures is also liable to a levy although routine maintenance is generally exempt.

The cost of building and construction work in broad terms is the cost of labour and materials, including excavation, site preparation, concreting, carpentry, bricklaying, tiling, gyprocking, plumbing, structural steelwork, electrical and painting. External permanent structures such as retaining walls, paving and kerbing etc are also included.

The local approving authority whether a local council, private certifier or government body will rely on their own estimating methodology or contract prices with building firms.

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